Xfce 4.8 Release Cycle Information

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at xfce.org
Sun Sep 13 17:55:11 CEST 2009

Hey everyone,

at the end of August, we've entered the development phase for the Xfce
4.8 release cycle. Today, we're hitting dependency freeze and I think
this is a good time to inform you about how the cycle will look like
and what we're planning to achieve for 4.8.

The final 4.8 release is scheduled for April 12th, 2010, which is in
about 8 months. We're trying to stick to a well-defined release policy
for the first time. This includes frequent development releases of
individual components and, most importantly, a time-based release

I'm confident that we can meet the schedule you can see below and would
like to encourage everyone to participate in the development and
continued improvement of Xfce 4.8, be it as a developer, a translator
or a generally active member of the Xfce community.

Below you find detailed information about the 4.8 schedule, the release
team, dependencies and planned features. This information is also
available on http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.8/schedule.


  2009-08-16 - 2009-08-30: Planning phase
  2009-08-31 - 2009-09-13: Extended planning phase
               2009-09-13: Dependency freeze

  2009-08-31 - 2010-01-31: Development phase
  2010-02-01 - 2010-04-12: Release phase

               2010-02-01: Xfce 4.8pre1 release / Feature freeze
               2010-03-01: Xfce 4.8pre2 release / String freeze
               2010-03-29: Xfce 4.8pre3 release / Code freeze

               2010-04-12: Xfce 4.8 final release

Release Team

     Release Manager: Jannis Pohlmann
         QA Official: Stephan Arts
  Release Assistants: Jérôme Guelfucci
                      Ali Abdallah
                      Yves-Alexis Perez
                      Robby Workman
                      Vincent Tunru 

You can read up on the roles of these people on
http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/release-model if you feel like you need to
contact one of them because there's something going wrong with the
development or release process.


Xfce 4.8 will depend on the following libraries and applications:

  * cairo >= 1.0.0
  * dbus-1 >= 1.0.0
  * dbus-glib-1 >= 0.73
  * gdk-pixbuf-2.0 >= 2.14.0
  * gio-2.0 >= 2.18.0
  * glib-2.0 >= 2.18.0
  * gmodule-2.0 >= 2.18.0
  * gobject-2.0 >= 2.18.0
  * gthread-2.0 >= 2.18.0
  * gtk+-2.0 >= 2.14.0
  * libpng12 >= 1.2.0
  * libwnck-1.0 >= 2.22
  * x11 >= 1.1.0

The following dependencies are still left open:

  * garcon-1 (no release yet, but used in different places)
  * tumbler (no release yet, but used in different places)
  * sphinx (for documentation)

Planned Features

In the following, we give you an overview of the features we are
planning to implement for 4.8. Please note that due to the voluntary
nature of the Xfce development, none of features are guaranteed to make
it into the final release. This feature list may also not be complete
as we might be able to implement even more during the cycle. 
This list is meant to give you an insight in what we're up to and what
you might be able to expect in 8 months.

You can find a (hopefully) always up to date list on
http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.8/schedule#roadmap_planned_features. Each
of the pages linked there contains more detailed information about the
features, their implementation status and sometimes also who has taken
the responsibility to work on them.

We welcome people to help in achieving these goals. All of our
repositories are now managed using git (on http://git.xfce.org/) so
it's easy to clone them and contribute code to Xfce.

  * Remove deprecated APIs and rename library to exo-1
  * Add GIO module for URI handling to support gtk_show_uri()

  * Port all Xfce core components to libxfce4ui instead of libxfcegui4
  * Object-oriented session client
  * GtkBuilder support for e.g. XfceTitledDialog

  * Finish the migration to GIO/GVfs. Among other features, this will
    give us network browsing (windows shares, SSH, FTP etc.).
  * Implement our own volume monitoring backend for GIO (based on HAL
    or DeviceKit-disks)
  * Update thunar-volman to work with this volume monitoring backend
    and port it to xfconf
  * Integration of remote locations in the side pane
  * Improve integration of tumbler for thumbnailing
  * Port all ThunarVFS thumbnailers to tumbler, write
    backwards-compatible tumbler plugin for thunar-thumbnailers
  * Use a single progress dialog, grouping all file operations
  * Extend the D-Bus interface so that e.g. xfdesktop can re-use the
    file properties dialog
  * Startup notification support in the custom actions plugin

  * Drop libxfce4menu and migrate to garcon
  * Improve keyboard navigation
  * Use startup notification when spawning applications
  * Perhaps implement an extension API, so that xfce4-appfinder can act
    as a replacement for xfrun4 in the future.

  * Finish the completely rewritten panel. This adds a lot of neat
    features and revamped dialogs. Amongst other things:
  * Introduce an xfconf API for plugins
  * Add an improved launcher plugin based on GIO, garcon and
  * Improved transparency support
  * Better panel placement and multi-head support

  * Netbook-friendly dialogs
  * Improve keyboard shortcuts (seem to cause a lot of problems)
  * Improve display and pointer settings dialogs
  * Add a clipboard manager daemon
  * Finish/fix the settings editor

  * Use GIO for the icon view
  * Use garcon for the menu instead of libxfce4menu
  * Improve icon view drawing routines
  * Proper keyboard handling for the icon view
  * Free icon positioning
  * Allow right-click menus to be arranged differently

I think that's it. I hope you enjoy Xfce and are looking forward to the
4.8 release together with us! 

  - Jannis
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